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Christian's onslaught powers Renegades to their first BBL Final

Christian's onslaught powers Renegades to their first BBL Final

Melbourne Renegades defeated Sydney Sixers by three wickets to seal final with city rivals Melbourne Stars on Sunday, the first time they have reached the final in eight seasons.

Asked to bat first, the Sixers rode on fifties from their openers Josh Philippe and Daniel Hughes to posted 180 for three. Both Philippe and Hughes were in scintillating form, putting on 87 runs for the opening partnership. Cameron Boyce got the first breakthrough for the Renegades after Philippe was caught by Marcus Harris for 52 in the ninth over.

Hughes then shifted gears, soon reaching his fifty. The Sixers had 100 runs on the board at the halfway mark. But just after reaching his fifty, Boyce returned and removed Hughes (52) courtesy a very good catch from Tom Cooper. The two wickets slowed down the Sixers’ run rate – at one stage 200 was looking easily achievable. But they still managed a formidable 3-180 at the end of the innings, setting the Renegades a massive target to reach their first BBL Final. James Vince and skipper Moises Henriques kept the scoreboard ticking with almost run-a-ball innings in the second half of the innings before Jordan Silk smashed a 7-ball 17 towards the end.

Cameron Boyce was the pick of the bowlers for the Renegades with the figures of two for 33.

In reply, Renegades opener Marcus Harris started off with a boundary but was bowled three balls later off Steven O’Keefe. Harris has scored just 62 runs in six innings for Renegades this season. Despite the early setback, the top order rallied, with cameos from Sam Harper (36 off 17), Cameron White (29 off 17) and Tom Cooper (14 off 10). Renegades captain Aaron Finch (44) partnered all of them till he fell in the 16th over when a mistimed switch hit off O’Keefe resulted in a crucial wicket for the Sixers. Renegades needed 48 runs off 26 balls with four wickets in hand.

With things looking tough towards the end of the innings, Dan Christian and Cam Boyce turned around the momentum in favour of Renegades. Christian continued to clear the boundary at will. Renegades scored 23 in the 17th and 18th overs. With 25 needed in last two overs, Christian smashed Sean Abbott for two maximums to simply the equation. But it wasn’t without a drama after all. After Christian just about sneaked a six at wide long on, he was dropped by Jack Edwards at the same fielding position next ball, yielding two valuable runs. Renegades ran four off the next three deliveries before Christian sent Abbott over deep extra cover to ease the situation.

With seven needed off the last over, Boyce was out hit-wicket on the first ball. But Kane Richardson smashed a boundary on the next ball and Renegades added two singles to level the scores, before Richardson finished the game with another boundary.

O’Keefe and Ben Dwarshuis shared two wickets each for the Sixers.

Dan Christian was adjudged man of the match for his match-winning knock for the Renegades.